In 1984, the Bromley by Bow Centre was born out of a diverse area when under-utilised space was made available to the community. A café, a children’s nursery and artists’ studios started to appear. A GP practice was added five years later (The Bromley by Bow Health Partnership has recently celebrated 30 years).
The ethos of the Centre grew from the belief that everyone has amazing untapped potential, and no one should be written off in life. It quickly became clear that the way to build a healthy community was to create opportunities, not just to access good healthcare but for people to make new friends, learn skills, explore their creativity and tackle the complex problems that so many people face by providing practical help and advice.
35 years on, the Centre represents one of the most progressive, inspiring and effective models of community transformation anywhere, whilst tackling some of the most challenging health and social conditions in the UK.
Today the integrated Centre and Health centres support thousands of people every month and our innovative and integrated model has become a blueprint for creating healthy and vibrant communities around the world.
Rob Trimble, the Centre’s Chief Executive, sums it up:
“The most profound insight from our experience at Bromley by Bow over the last 35 years is that more medicine is far less effective at driving better health than having more friends, a sense of purpose in your life and the feeling that you belong in a strong community”